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https://opcionate.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Etica-Ciberciudadania-y-Juventud-Canaria-Diagnostico-Participativo.pdfThe participatory diagnosis funded by the Cabildo highlights the need for a joint strategy between institutions and the educational and youth communities.
We must engage society to make participatory public governance a reality,” says Jorge Pérez Artiles.

The Cabildo has funded the participatory diagnosis ‘Digital Ethics, Cybercitizenship and Youth and Gran Canaria’, a study based on the vision of more than thirty entities of the island and whose conclusions highlight the need to develop in the short term a joint strategy between institutions, the educational community and the youth collective to promote responsible and participatory uses in the network and thus boost their ability to influence decision-making in the public sphere.

This radiography, presented today, has been financed by the Cabildo’s Citizen Participation and drawn up by the Opciónate Association with the aim of identifying initiatives, obstacles and proposals to promote civic and responsible online youth participation. It is the first in-depth approach to this reality in Gran Canaria and also includes a list of good practices that are being carried out on the island by public and private entities and experts, as well as the recommendations and actions proposed by these actors.

“This island government assumes the enormous importance of digital technology and technopolitics for citizen participation and that its promotion is a task that cannot only be carried out by the institutions, but that we have to engage society as a whole with active and incisive actions to make appropriate and responsible participatory public governance a reality,” said the island director of Citizen Participation of the Cabildo, Jorge Pérez Artiles.

The interviews and contributions in the focus groups carried out in the framework of the diagnosis reveal that crucial importance is also given to the generation of spaces for meeting and dialogue to adapt the existing institutional tools for social and citizen participation of young people, both in the digital and face-to-face space, all this to create more accessible institutional structures to receive citizen proposals, said the director of Opciónate, Ana Lidia Fernández-Layos.

In this sense, the diagnosis, available on the organisation’s website, stresses that “public and private institutions, in their websites and applications, must apply the necessary measures so that the entire population can access and understand the content that exists on the internet”, as well as the fact that “it is necessary to ‘bring down to earth’ the internet and Relationship, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), as citizenship is also exercised in these spaces”. It also urges public facilities to adapt and guarantee quality internet and electronic devices.

The study also corroborates that organisations and experts in the use of ICTs, participation and youth on the island of Gran Canaria are aware of how online spaces affect and influence the population, of the opportunities they offer for information, entertainment, training, content generation and participation, but they are also aware of the negative dynamics and cybercrime that occur in them.

The diagnosis points out that at least 50 organisations in Gran Canaria are carrying out campaigns, conferences, projects and workshops that address digital citizenship and promote civic and participatory behaviour on the Internet, although it is clear that “for the moment, the projects are, for the most part, of limited duration and with specific themes, due to the fact that they are subject to calls for proposals and subsidies”.

Situations such as the digital divide, fake news, cyberbullying, gender-based cyber-violence or cybersecurity tend to be the topics that are being addressed the most, especially in school or learning contexts. In the case of the digital divide and accessibility, the target groups include the elderly, women and people at risk of exclusion.

In terms of obstacles, economic and access barriers are identified in the first place. It is also noted that there is a generation gap that is affecting the relationship and understanding between adults and young people, a reality that has a negative influence on the participation of young people at social, community, political and civic level.

Furthermore, and given the widespread digitalisation, the study points out that it is also necessary to consider the creation of delegates or specialised and permanent figures who know how to advise and accompany in the proper use of ICTs, who are familiar with European and national regulations, as well as administrative mechanisms and forms of online citizen participation.

You can read the complete participatory diagnosis of Digital Ethics, Cyber ​​Citizenship and Youth in Gran Canaria at the following link: https://opcionate.com/en/services-material/